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Carmignano: Making wine in Chianti’s shadow

This small, northerly corner of Tuscany has a long, noble history. But can its complex terroirs and the passion of its producers ever lift Carmignano’s DOCG wines above the clamour for Chianti? Stephen Brook visits the region…

Enrico Pierazzuoli, one of the brothers who own the Le Farnete estate in Tuscany, is standing among his vines shortly before harvest. ‘I’m not sitting at a computer or staring at analyses before harvest,’ he tells me.

‘I’m here in the vineyard. I’m not against technology. You can use GPS and drones and soil probes, but then you have to make a decision, and this you can only do if you are in the vines every day. Knowing about one element is not enough. You need to taste the berries, you need to observe the vines. Only then will you arrive at the correct decision.’

Scroll down for Stephen Brook’s top 10 Carmignano reds

I dare say any good grape farmer would agree with him. But Pierazzuoli has another concern: he has to assemble a wine that, by definition, must blend different varieties.

We’re in the Carmignano appellation, which has a majority of Sangiovese, and significant supporting roles for Cabernet Sauvignon and/ or Cabernet Franc, Merlot and perhaps Syrah or Petit Verdot too.

This article was originally published in Decanter magazine’s May 2017 issue and is now available online exclusively for Premium subscribers. 

Stephen Brook’s top 10 Carmignano reds:


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